Gardens and Parenting

I do not have a green thumb. Most plants throughout my life have come to their final resting place in my hands. I would either forget to water them, water them too much, or just plain look at them cross-eyed. Whatever it was that I was doing wrong, the result was the same.

I have had more luck since we moved to Maryland. Therefore, with great trepidation and some nervous energy, my husband and I planted a backyard garden.

raised bed


cantaloupeWe have all the basics: tomatoes, peppers, lettuce spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli and some herbs. Things are progressing nicely. In fact, I now consider myself a gardener. It is not just a hobby, however. It is my newest form of therapy, and I have come up with some great new philosophies while puttering around back there.  I have formed some new ideas on parenting, and how raising kids is like raising a garden.

The ground that you plant your seeds in is important and it takes a lot of preparation to make it ideal for plants to grow to their full potential. With Tomatoeskids, it is important to prepare the environment that you are bringing them into, both physically and spiritually. I think that is why parents traditionally have 9 months to prepare. Whatever your parental situation is, you can prepare a place in your heart and your home for the little seedlings to grow. Whether they have been placed in your home as seeds or cucumbertransplanted there, they can and will flourish.

It is also important to catch weeds before they have a chance to take root. I had a lot of experience with this fact when the scrub oaks were shedding seeds all over my fledgling garden. It was easiest to get the seeds out before they dug their way into the ground. Inevitably, I missed quite a few. By the time those mini trees popped their heads up to where I could see them, it would take a bit more effort to remove them. If I let things progress and those buggers took and built a stronger root, it was downright difficult to get rid of them. With our kids, we have to be as progressive as we can with weeding out bad habits and behaviors. The earlier you catch them, the easier it is to correct the problem.  A little behavior in a small child might be somewhat cute, but it can turn into a full-fledged monster issue if you let it grow.

I will not bore you with any more of my musings, except to say that the nurture and care that a garden takes is worth it. It takes but a season to see the fruits of your labor. A child takes significantly longer to grow, but I know that the work and dedication that we put into our daughter is worth it. I also know that things will be the same with any other kids that enter our life. The fruits born of each child’s life are different. Yet they are all sweet.

League of Dreams Finale

We have had such beautiful afternoons we can’t help, but be outside. We decided to go for another hike on a different trail in the same state park that we hiked in yesterday. Micki is usually a little hesitant when she is on uneven ground, but she seems to be getting a little better with our little hikes. This hike was about a mile and a half round trip. It was wonderful to be in God’s creations.

This evening we also had the last session of the baseball program called League of Dreams. It is a program started by Frank Kolarek for kids with special needs and their siblings to play baseball. Most weeks they start with practicing throwing and catching, hitting and running. Then they divide the kids up into two teams and play a “game”. Everyone gets a chance to hit each inning then run the bases. They help all the kids to feel special and encourage them to do their best. All the kids got shirts and hats.

Today’s session was a combination of three different groups in the area as a kind of final game with everyone. There was rain in the forecast so not a lot of the kids showed up. It was at the Ripken Baseball Complex where the Cal Ripken World Series is going on. We got started.with practicing throwing and catching.


Unfortunately they said that there was a severe thunderstorm 8 miles away headed in our direction. They had everyone head over to the the hotel that was close by and we would see what happened. We got into the lobby of the hotel and got settled. A little while later the deluge began. It poured down rain for about a half an hour. They decided to call it a day and order pizza.

It is a wonderful program and Micki seems to have fun and that is the whole point. We love just letting Micki try new things. We are looking forward to playing again next year.

Family Motto

Down in our basement we have an area that hangs down lower than the rest of the ceiling. It is where the HVAC venting is. It makes for a little difficulty because at that point the ceiling is just above six feet above the floor. When we moved in a year ago we decided that we wanted to put a saying or something on there to remind us that a) it is there and b) is how we want to live our life. We started brainstorming and came up with some, but most were too short and did not really fit exactly with point b.

Well we finally decided what best fits with how we have lived our lives, especially since Jenn and I got married. It comes from the Book of Mormon. It is found in 2 Nephi 5:27 “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.” This is what we have chosen as our family motto/mantra.

We love to spend time together as a family, it is what makes us happy. Often times we will just take off in the car and find something new to see bopping along to some music. Micki will be dancing in her seat when a song she likes comes on and Jenn and I will be singing along to our favorite songs. Yeah, music is a fun pat of our lives.

Of course the most important thing that makes us happy is having Jesus Christ in our lives. We have and will overcome everything because of Christ. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ we are an eternal HAPPY family.

League of Dreams

One of the programs that we are involved with is League of Dreams. It is a program in the Baltimore area for kids who would not normally be able to participate in a typical baseball program. It was started by Frank Kolarek a former minor league baseball player. He started the program because he saw kids who were not as physically able to participate as their typical peers. He wanted to have a baseball program where any child can participate. There are kids with all ability ranges participating.

This is our second year being involved. Micki enjoys going out with other kids and playing. It takes a lot of work, but she really enjoys the praise that she gets from the coaches.

Here is some video that I took at one of our recent practices.

We are going to our first FSA event next Saturday a picnic. Hopefully we will have good weather.

Micki’s First School Dance

Micki attends a school for students with special needs. Every year they have an Alumni Dance where all the alumni and the high school students get together at the school for a dance. It was the first time that she went to any type of dance.

She had a lot of fun listening to music and dancing around the gym. One of the first dances was lady’s choice. Micki walked around a little and then walked up to one of the alumni and started dancing with him.

One of her classmates was there and Micki kept walking up to him. He is a little shy, but slowly warmed up to the idea. They finally shared part of a song.

We all had a lot of fun.